Student-Faculty Research Gets Another Boost

Oberlin College has won $775,529 to fund a four-year Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, a project of the U.S. Department of Education. The money will "support the academic aspirations and achievements," according to the grant proposal, of 20 undergraduates who are low-income first-generation college students or minorities underrepresented in doctoral programs. The McNair program aims to ensure that the interns will later enroll in Ph.D. programs and then enter research, teaching, or other careers that require the doctorate.

The McNair program, along with other programs that offer research assistantships for students, is part of the newly created Office of Undergraduate Sponsored Programs in the Office of Sponsored Programs. Associate Professor of Sociology Clovis White will direct the new office and the McNair program.

"I am estatic about the receipt of the grant." says White. "It is a wonderful opportunity for Oberlin College students and faculty because it combines faculty research and mentoring with student interest and skill development. As an advocate of mentoring and student research, I look forward to working with any program that fosters these goals."

"The grant was very competitive," says David Love, associate vice- president for research and development and acting associate dean of arts and sciences. "We're very pleased to get it in light of the cuts in support for higher education."

The McNair grant, along with individual faculty research grants and the recent gift from Donald Oresman '46, will allow Oberlin to advance its mission by providing better financial assistance and more opportunities for students and faculty to work together, says President Nancy S. Dye. "The McNair program and Oberlin's mission are wonderfully aligned," she says.

The process of selecting McNair interns will begin with faculty members who wish to be McNair mentors outlining their summer research plans and explaining how a student assistant might become involved in their work and learn from it. Project director White will invite eligible students to talk with these faculty members, and faculty members and students will submit joint proposals that will be evaluated by a faculty committee.

Besides eight-week summer-research projects, for which they will earn stipends and room and board allowances, McNair interns will participate in special activities during the academic year, including graduate-school and financial-aid workshops, lectures by local and visiting faculty members, and professional conferences (accompanied by faculty mentors).

-Linda K. Grashoff
Editor, Oberlin College

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